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Engaging First-Time Conference Attendees

Engaging First-Time Conference Attendees: 4 Tactics to Try

Of course you want to provide an exceptional experience for ALL of your conference attendees, but ensuring that happens for your first-time attendees is particularly important. Their decision to attend future events (and possibly even renew their membership) depends heavily on that first experience, so going the extra mile for those folks, in particular, is certainly worth it.

What does “going the extra mile” for your first-time attendees look like? Here are a few tactics worth trying:

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Association Spring Cleaning: 3 Areas Worth a Little Focus

Posted by Callie Walker

Association Spring Cleaning.jpg

Spring is officially here! The birds are starting to chirp, the flowers are starting to bloom, the pollen is well on its way, and hopefully, so are those April showers!

Yup, it’s the perfect time for a fresh start! If you’re getting ready to do a little spring cleaning at your house, you may want to do a little at your association as well. In fact, here are three areas worth a little time and attention:

1. Your website

It’s easy for your website to become cluttered or outdated. Take some time to walk through it and see where improvements can be made. Can any of the copy be cleaned up (rewritten, pared down, restructured, etc.)? Can any of the images be updated? What about your events calendar - is it easy to read/up to date? These are all things worth evaluating/tweaking to boost online member engagement.

One more thought/idea: Does your website do a good job of inviting people - both prospects and members - to take that next step? Whether it be to fill out an online member application form, to register for your next event, to read your latest white paper/report, or something else entirely - is that next step clear and easy to take? If not, you may want to consider adding a few (or several) calls-to-action to your association’s website (and not just on your homepage, but throughout your site as well). Calls-to-action, or CTAs for short, are phrases like “Apply here” or “Register today” that really try to provoke action and engagement. You can’t expect people to interact with you if you don’t tell them how, so make those CTA additions a priority when it comes to website cleaning.

2. Your social media sites

Even if you post on social media every day, your sites could still probably use a little updating - even if it’s just for the sake of having something fun and different. But before you get too crazy with the fun, focus on the basics:

  • Are your profiles completely filled out? Do you have your mission listed, your contact information, your website URL, and links to your other social media sites? If not, add these ASAP!
  • Do you have a high-resolution logo and relevant cover photo? Sometimes, when organizations are trying to get social media accounts set up, they’ll add a low-resolution logo and/or a semi-random stock photo as placeholders until they can get something better. But things come up, people get busy, and before you know it, a whole year has passed! If that’s been the case at your organization, take some time to get these updated. High quality imagery gives credibility to your page(s).

And now for the fun…

Let’s say you have the basics down and you’re still looking for a little refresh. Well this is where you can get creative. Consider adding a fun, temporary cover photo that showcases a little personality. Since it’s spring, maybe put together a fun spring cover photo (with your association’s branding, of course). Or, if your big annual meeting is coming up, consider putting together a cover photo promoting that - with the date, location, theme (if there is one), etc.

The Florida Society of Association Executives (FSAE) does a good job of this on their Facebook page:

FSAE Cover Photo.png

See how their cover photo promotes their upcoming annual conference? Great for awareness and engagement!

3. Your database

Last but certainly not least, there’s your association’s database. It’s the primary link between you and your association’s membership, so it’s CRUCIAL that information is clean and up to date. Take some time to walk through your database, keeping a close eye out for typos, formatting, accuracy, and duplicates.

Now this is a much bigger project than the first two items we listed, so you’ll probably want to make this a team effort if you can. For more tips on how to scrub your association’s database, check out our post, How to Clean Your Association’s Database: 5 Tips.

Want more tips for making sure your website and social media sites are in tip-top shape for boosting membership recruitment, engagement, and retention? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Membership Management below! It’s free and FULL of guidelines/best practices!

The Ultimate Guide to Membership Management  Everything you need to know about managing your membership online, from  acquisition to engagement to retention. Download this guide

Topics: association management, membership management, Small Staff Chatter

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